Brumaire Organic Lavender and Hay Farm in Tiverton, RI chemical-free
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We sell organic lavender and hay.
We sell fresh lavender flowers locally and also lavender buds for cooking...by mail. Please contact us by phone for special orders or email. Cash only, please.
Lavender is a wonderfully fragrant woody perennial; it has over 2,500 years of recorded use as a strewing herb, a mood tonic, a fragrance, an insect repellent, and a food flavoring. There are about 28 species of lavender. Some are hardy in Zones 4-7, while others are tender and best grown in pots in those areas. These tender varieties include Spanish lavender (Lavendula stoechas), French lavender (L. dentata), and Fernleaf lavender (L. multifida). There is some confusion with common names, so it is always best to check the botanical name when buying lavender. These tender plants can be grown outside in pots in the summer, then brought inside to a bright windowsill for the winter. The soil in the pot should contain some sand, perlite, or vermiculite to aid in drainage. Water when soil is dry to the touch and fertilize every three weeks. Spider mites and white flies can be controlled by insecticidal soap; plants should be trimmed in the spring and fall. While these varieties are not as fragrant as the hardy lavenders, they will reward you with blooms almost year-round.
The most widely grown hardy lavender is L. angustifolia (sometimes sold as L. vera or L. officinalis and often called English lavender). There are more than a hundred varieties of L. angustifolia ranging from eight inches to three feet tall, with flowers of white, pink or various shades of blue and purple. The two most popular varieties are Munstead (18" tall with lilac-colored flowers) and Hidcote (16" tall with deep purple-blue flowers). Both have a sweet fragrance and are excellent for drying for crafting. Their blossoms are produced on flower stems 8"-10" long. In south central Pennslyvania, both varieties (and most other angustifolias) tend to bloom in June. Some varieties have excellent second blooms in late August.
Another quite hardy species is L. x intermedia also known as lavandin. Among the most popular intermedia varieties are Grosso, Provence, White Provence, and Grappenhall. The result of crosses between L. angustifolia mad other species, the intermedias are usually considerably larger than the angustifolias (often 30 inches high with flower stems 18"-24" long), and tend to bloom in July. They are excellent for making lavender wands.
All lavenders need full sun and good drainage; they are quite drought tolerant. Lavenders like a neutral or slightly alkaline soil (7.0-7.3 pH). For best results, test your soil, adding lime if necessary. Heavy clay soils need the addition of sand to provide good drainage. Alternatively, plant lavenders on a slightly raised mound. Mulching lavenders with a 2" layer of sand or white pebbles will reflect the sunlight back into the plant and help prevent fungus diseases. Leaving adequate spacing between plants will also help air circulation. Lavenders benefit from a pruning of not more than one-third of the plant in the early spring. Deer do not appear to care for the taste of lavender; in fact, some gardeners plant lavender among other plants as a deterrent to deer.
Lavenders do not necessarily come true from seed. This can be a problem for gardeners who want a plant with a specific bloom color or size. Obtaining true traits requires that the plant be propagated from cuttings. For a cutting you will need a 3"-4" semi-hard (not too green, not too brown) branch. Trim the leaves off the bottom half of the cutting and pinch the top before inserting into a rooting medium. We have excellent results using sand. Keep the cuttings moist (but not soggy) and in filtered light. They root best at temperatures of 70-75 degrees. Cuttings are best taken from May through mid-August.
The lavender is harvested by hand with a sickle at the peak of flowering, usually the 2nd week in July.
It is then dried naturally in an old stone barn until September.
Our hay is organically grown. Cash only please.